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Seeking a Better Country

300 Years of American Presbyterianism

Direct Price: $27.99 $21.00
Format: Paperback
Pages: 304
ISBN: 9781629956541
Publication Date 06/15/07

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The first American presbytery was founded in 1706. In the following years, Presbyterians grew to form one of the largest and most eminent denominations in the United States. Now, more than three hundred years later, that church is dwindling. What has happened? 

Lively, bracing, and informative, Seeking a Better Country takes an honest look at the rise and decline of American Presbyterianism, giving context to Presbyterians of all stripes.


“Those seeking inspiration will have to look elsewhere. This is a sobering account of division, missed opportunities, and unrealized potential on the part of a church with exceptional theological, human, and material resources too often squandered on a worldly cultural agenda. The authors’ goal is accuracy, and the response they evoke is not celebration, but critical self-awareness, leading, they hope, to self-correction and reform. For all who are concerned for the future of Presbyterianism, this is an important book.”

—Terry Johnson, Senior minister, Independent Presbyterian Church, Savannah, Georgia

“Historians D. G. Hart and John Muether provide an account of American Presbyterian history that makes a basic and challenging argument: in their great success, Presbyterians in America have often lost sight of their spiritual mission of preaching the Word and administering the sacraments. Not exactly an uplifting message, and yet one that we need to hear! For in making their case, these authors not only provide a compelling account of Presbyterianism in America; they also offer a vision of Presbyterian identity that deemphasizes the noise, jazz, and heroes of this present age for a better country, that is a heavenly one, whose maker and ruler is God.”

—Sean Michael Lucas, vice president for academics and assistant professor of church history, Covenant Theological Seminary

Seeking a Better Country does far more than simply chronicle the first three centuries of American Presbyterian history. It is a trenchant assessment of the Presbyterian legacy in the United States by two leading conservative scholars. It should be on the bookshelves of pastors and students alike.”

—Peter Lillback, president, Westminster Theological Seminary


The Authors

John R. Muether

John R. Muether

John R. Muether (MAR, Westminster Theological Seminary) is librarian and associate professor of church history at Reformed Theological Seminary in Orlando. The coauthor of four volumes, Muether has served on the Harvard Divinity School library staff and has been librarian at Western Theological Seminary and Westminster Theological Seminary. He has served on the editorial board of Regeneration Quarterly and on the board of directors of Mars Hill Audio. He is historian of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church and serves on that denomination’s Christian Education Committee.

D.G. Hart

D.G. Hart

D. G. Hart studied American history at the Johns Hopkins University and has served as director of the Institute for the Study of American Evangelicals at Wheaton College and academic dean and professor of church history at Westminster Seminary in California. He is currently visiting assistant professor of history at Hillsdale College.

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